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Author Topic: Going to go back to solid bottom boards  (Read 2871 times)
capt44
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« on: November 20, 2013, 10:42:07 PM »

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I've been using both screened bottom boards and solid bottom boards to see if there is much of a difference.
After using both and treating varroa mites I have come to the conclusion that for the extra expense of the wire and the fact that no matter that I use the screen or not I still have to treat my bees.
I can say that I have a better brood concentration in the bottom box using the solid bottom.
I believe the light in the bottom has something to do with the queen not using the very bottom of the lower chamber.
I've noticed the population is higher in the hives with solid bottoms also.
As far as ventilation I can ventilate high instead of low.
As for the small hive beetles, I use traps on top of the upper box and in the bottoms of my solid bottoms.
I'm interested in hearing what others think of solid bottom boards verses the Screened bottom boards.
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2013, 06:56:25 AM »

I have half and half.  I only buy solid bottoms now.  I didn't see any difference in Varroa mights and that was my reason for trying them.  They work and I will use them until they fall apart... but I can convert the solid ones to feeders.  Not treating was dependent on natural comb, not screened bottoms...

http://bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm#BottomBoardFeeder
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2013, 10:45:53 AM »

i don't see much difference, but i like the screened for swarm catching and i just put the board in the bottom for winter.  they are more expensive...i probably will work with what i have for now.
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2013, 07:07:37 PM »

You will find folks on both sides of the issue, it is almost like talking religion  Lips Sealed

I've switch back to solid bottom boards about 8 years ago and believe it has helped my wintering percentage and perhaps plays a part with varroa control as I haven't had to treat anything in 7 years.

Couple points to consider.

1. Every feral colony I have found has always been sealed up tight.
2. Perhaps Varroa doesn't prosper as well in warmer and higher humidity conditions. -> http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,16851.0.html
3. Colony heat retention helps with faster brood build up in the spring.  Bees don't have to cluster as close to maintain temperature and therefore can cover more brood.
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KD4MOJ
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2013, 06:56:18 AM »

The only reason I use SBB is for IPM. Too many mites and SHB falling down to the traps and those would be inside the hive if I had solid bottoms.

...DOUG
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Moots
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2013, 09:15:19 AM »

This is my first year, my original thought from all my reading and research was that I would go with SBB with an oil tray below them for IPM...so I built a couple.  Due to my first year enthusiasm, swarms, and cut-outs, I quickly found myself with more bees than I had planned on and short of equipment.  For that reason, as well as advice from other local Beeks who had been down the SBB road and had switched back to solid bottom boards, I started building solid bottom boards and plan on using nothing but Solid's moving forward.

Not sure I really have enough experience to speak to the effectiveness of SBB as an IPM...But I can say that they are a more expensive and time consuming build, not to mention a PITA to keep up with managing the oil trays.  I have no experience with simply screen bottoms with no trays...but see no reason at the moment to try anything other than the Solid bottom boards.  I'm actually toying with the idea of making my future builds a universal Solid bottom boards/Migratory top cover....I've forgotten who does that, but I've seen it on the forum, or somewhere, and thought it was a pretty neat idea.
 
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2013, 07:31:41 PM »

I had a screened bottom board on a hive last winter the slot in the back let water in on top of the tray under the screen it was quite a mess. I need good ventilation and heat retention. solid bottom boards make sense to me in this area.

Dave
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2013, 11:07:30 AM »

I've been trying both.  My thoughts are that a screened board will be cooler in the summer, and not too much trouble to close up and keep warm in the winter.  So far I haven't seen any appreciable difference.
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mikecva
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« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2013, 01:35:15 PM »

I use screened bb for the ventilation but I have built my own bases out of 2"x6" pressure treated wood. I tried several designs and have ended with ones that are has work well (for me) for many years. I make the box about 1/8 inch smaller then the landing board (so there is no ledge for water to sit on) and in the two long sides I put 4 saw cuts, with my skill saw, about 6" long. This provides an updraft in summer and can be duct taped off if there is a strong wind is expected.   -Mike 
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2013, 06:12:14 PM »

I use screened bottoms on hives that are from removals.  After they are good and settled in I move them all to solid bottom boards.  As noted by others it seems that there is more brood in the bottom box with solid bottom boards. 
I understand that bees do not produce heat that will warm the entire box, but possible it is because of reduction in wind and darkness that allows them to rear more brood in the lower box.
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2013, 07:16:15 PM »

Do any of you insulate your hives in the winter?  It occurs to me that it would be a simple process with some extruded foam board to make something that was easy to take on and off when necessary.
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T Beek
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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2013, 08:00:08 AM »

Do any of you insulate your hives in the winter?  It occurs to me that it would be a simple process with some extruded foam board to make something that was easy to take on and off when necessary.

This deserves a 'new topic' post, no?  We could talk for pages on the pros and cons of insulations  Wink  Winter is just getting started…...

I use both Solids and SBB but like SBB for the simplicity they offer "me" in looking at bottom debris with minimal intrusion.  Since 2007 I've noticed no difference in brood build up overall.  I use them primarily for my own benefit to be honest.

Mites have been mostly a non-issue in my yard since going foundationless in 2007 (also when I stopped treating).  I don't think bottoms have much to do with it. Undecided
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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2013, 01:51:01 PM »

Do any of you insulate your hives in the winter?  It occurs to me that it would be a simple process with some extruded foam board to make something that was easy to take on and off when necessary.

This has been discussed in great detail many times before.   A search on 'insulation' will get you in the right place.
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« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2013, 08:23:05 AM »

Sorry, will do
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« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2013, 09:00:05 AM »

Sorry, will do

No apologies are necessary.  It is just the fact that most folks will only discuss their opinion once, maybe twice, and then will just skip future re-discussions.  For you own benefit it is worth doing the search and getting much more input.
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« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2013, 10:35:22 PM »

Today I put the slide-in boards in my screened bottom boards.  I just have 6 hives so it's not much trouble.  I may try solid bottom boards on my next hives because they would be much easier to build. 
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labradorfarms
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« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2013, 06:26:13 PM »

I assumed that in the spring you would put on ScreenedBB. Then in the fall switch to a SolidBB . Just becaasue one allows more ventilation and the other would restrict the ventilation in the Winter , thus keeping the hive warmer...

 
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ugcheleuce
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« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2013, 05:32:28 AM »

I've been using both screened bottom boards and solid bottom boards to see if there is much of a difference. After using both and treating varroa mites I have come to the conclusion that for the extra expense of the wire and the fact that no matter that I use the screen or not I still have to treat my bees.

I have no personal experience with this but I would have assumed that it has a lot to do with the design of your screened board.

I have seen screened boards on e.g. Youtube that are completely open at the bottom, and that strikes me as a design that would let in a lot of air.  I have also seen designs in which the screened board is essentially a closed, flat box with screen on top and a "door" at the back where you can stick the tray in.  In those designs, the screened board provides just as much or as little ventilation as a solid board would (leaving the "door" open would result in more ventilation).

I understood the main advantage of the screen to be not the ability to do mite-drop inspections but the fact that mites that fall naturally and are not dead yet are unable to climb back up.

Samuel
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Jim 134
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« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2013, 07:05:58 AM »

IMO
  I must remember are SBB a theory or fact ?? I do know I have tried both for quite a few years and see no difference in the number of varroa mites.  I also know there is a big difference in over wintering them on SBB and solid bottoms.  All I can tell you solid bottoms do over winter better and easier where I live and I'm not alone in thinking this way. I have a commercial beekeeper who lives about 1/2 Hr.  away from me who will sell you all of his use SBB and yes he has about 300 of them for sale.  He seems to think all it does for him to add another layer of work of closing them for the winter and make sure they STAY CLOSE and opening them for the summer. He told me he sees no difference in the number of varroa mites with or without SBB.



                            BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2013, 07:37:21 PM »

Here in Nebraska we have some very hot days in the summer (100°+) and very cold spells in the winter (below 0°). I designed and built my own SBB.

What has worked for me is to use the SBB for ventilation in the hottest months, July – September. In April – June, October and November I slide in the coroplast to cut off the draft. Then in December – March I add a ½” sheet of insulation between the coroplast and the screen for the coldest months. I also think this tempers the wild temperature swings we get sometimes. For instance last Saturday it was 60° for the high and Sunday it was 18° for the high. The time frame varies from year to year but I pay attention to the bees and make my decisions. This allows me to leave everything in place and to adjust as needed.

I too have seen minimal difference if any for pest control. If I had to use one or the other, no question, it would be solid bottom boards. I have yet to see a tree with a SBB.  grin
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